webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date January 10, 2018
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Librarians have the power to make Wikipedia better and more reliable. Once you understand how this collaborative, community-driven encyclopedia works, you’ll see the value of contributing your expertise and knowledge. Wikipedia Library’s annual #1lib1ref (“One Librarian, One Reference”) campaign provides a simple and fun way to get started. This global initiative invites all library staff to improve the verifiability of information on Wikipedia by adding at least one reference during the campaign, which runs from January 15 through February 3, 2018.

During this webinar, Monika Sengul-Jones, OCLC Wikipedian-in-Residence, will illuminate the inner workings of Wikipedia to build your confidence in its viability as a resource. Emily Jack, community engagement librarian at UNC Chapel Hill Libraries, will share what library staff love about participating in #1lib1ref—and why engaging with Wikipedia makes sense for libraries. Learn how you can participate in #1lib1ref, confidently add a citation to Wikipedia and connect with other librarians who are motivated to contribute to this popular resource used by information-seekers around the world. Join the community of librarians who Wikipedia!

Presented by: Monika Sengul-Jones and Emily Jack

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date February 11, 2020
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

The lofty U.S. ideal of "justice for all" fails the equity test because many people, especially our nation’s poorest individuals, fall into the "justice gap"—the divide between the civil legal needs of low-income people and the resources to meet those needs. Many of your community members who instinctively turn to the library for help with crises in their lives might be on the verge of falling into this gap. Though legal issues can be intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help reduce the justice gap. Join us to learn about the status of civil legal justice in our system and about the vital role you can play in connecting people with information and supporting them as they navigate the complexities of the legal system. Law librarian Catherine McGuire, who has conducted extensive trainings with public libraries, will share insights into interacting with patrons who approach the library with civil legal needs. With a basic understanding of the civil legal justice landscape, we hope you will be motivated to plunge deeper into helping close the justice gap by taking the live, multi-week online course to be offered in April.

Presented by: Catherine McGuire, Luis Interiano, and Betha Gutsche

Enrollment for this course is now closed; look for the self-paced online version of the course coming in the fall and facilitator training to teach you how to lead groups of learners taking the course together next spring.

Format: Instructor-ledinstructor led
Dates: April 6 – May 8, 2020
Developed by: WebJunction in collaboration with Legal Services Corporation
Length: 10 hours

Barriers to civil legal justice disproportionately affect low-income people in the U.S, creating the justice gap – the divide between the civil legal needs of low-income people and access to the resources to meet those needs. Public libraries are well-positioned to help reduce this gap.

WebJunction is offering an online, instructor-led course that will strengthen public library staff’s knowledge and ability to help identify when there is a civil legal issue at play and to direct library users to relevant, helpful information and services.

This course consists of four live online sessions over a 5-week period, online discussion forums, readings, and activities where public library staff explore how the live session content translates to practice in their library.

This course will cover 

  • Understanding the role of public libraries in addressing the justice gap
  • Recognizing the difference between legal information and legal advice
  • Conducting the legal reference interview; addressing patron stress and anxiety 
  • Reviewing and strengthening your library’s civil legal reference collection
  • Exploring trusted local- and state-specific online self-help resources  
  • Identifying and cultivating relationships with local organizations that offer legal aid, legal referrals

Course Structure

This five week, online course consists of four hour-long live online session, reading, activities and reporting back/reflection. We expect the course to require 10 hours of learner time to complete. For more information, see the course FAQ.

Live online sessions will occur on April 7, 14, 21 and May 5 at 3-4 pm Eastern time

This course made possible in part thanks to financial support from:
Mellon, LSC, SCE, OCLC logos


Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date April 23, 2014
Hosted by: Infopeople
Length: 1 hour

  • Is traffic at your reference desk disappearing?
  • How do you reach out to the users who make use of your library's power and Internet access - but not your human resources?
  • How can your library support flipped learning without going getting sucked down a MOOC-shaped black hole?
  • Can librarians maintain their brand as information experts in the age of pervasive connectedness?

Portable Internet devices and persistent access to online resources is changing the way people learn. With that comes significant shifts to the way people use library spaces and services. Rather than fearing this disruption, libraries should lean into the change. Through mobile library services, flipped and co-learning experiences, and virtual reference tools, libraries can continue to demonstrate the importance of reference skills. Join digital strategist Toby Greenwalt for an exploration of current and emerging techniques.

Presented by: Toby Greenwalt

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date May 19, 2016
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

The advent of the Internet liberated genealogy research. With the resulting ease of access, individual genealogy exploration has blossomed. However, many people pay for research services, not realizing that they can go to their public library for free, reliable tools and assistance. This webinar will teach library staff how to assist patrons with genealogical questions, using FamilySearch.org, a leading genealogy resource. Learn the reference skills necessary to determine a patron’s research experience and reveal the problem to be solved. Learn how to orient patrons to available resources and introduce them to the principles of finding a record for a known ancestor. Become a better guide to your patron researchers and help them to connect successfully with the details and stories of their ancestry.

Presented by: James Ison

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date March 26, 2015
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

As information and education centers, libraries are an ideal place for patrons--teens and adults--to learn about higher education opportunities. What can you offer in response to patrons who are curious about college? If you or your staff feel flummoxed by college-related reference questions, this session will acquaint you with the different types of college-bound students, college-related resources to promote at your library, and ways to work with community partners on programs for each audience. Provide help for the many patrons who do not have access to pricey college prep programs and services. Learn how to initiate or enhance your reference services to help more people meet their higher education goals.

Presented by: Africa Hands

Self Paced CourseFormat: Self-paced Course
Developed with: Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Length: 2 hours

Through a series of small projects and collaborative efforts, Douglas County (CO) librarians explored a new dimension of modern reference service, one that places their expertise at points of need outside of the library to respond to the questions the public didn’t take to the library.

By reaching out to their community and building new relationships, they are raising awareness about the reference services of the public library and learning more about the range of information local businesses and community members really need.

Join us as we step away from the desk and…

  • Explore new approaches to reference services that place public librarians directly in the community, answering questions at the point of need and growing community connections.
  • Discover possible outcomes and impacts of embedding library staff in direct projects supporting community businesses and organizations.
  • Identify your expertise. Identify new ways to place your expertise at points of need to respond to the questions the public does not typically take to the library.
  • Consider change. Consider new ways to adjust to this change and the opportunities for personal and professional growth that are possible for all staff within your library.

Course Design:
Based on a webinar originally presented by Jamie LaRue, Colbe Galston, and Amy Long and designed by WebJunction

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date February 14, 2017
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) exists not only to protect consumers but to empower all of us to take more control over our economic lives. The CFPB recognizes the important role that libraries can play as the go-to source for unbiased financial education resources in every community. The CFPB plans to build a community financial education infrastructure with libraries and national partners to reach consumers in their neighborhoods, expanding on programs and resources that are already working in libraries. With this infrastructure in place, public libraries can help fill consumers’ critical financial knowledge gaps by providing and distributing easy-to-understand, behaviorally informed financial education content. Learn how two libraries have implemented financial literacy program ideas, resources and tools, and connected with local partners, and hear how you can take your library and your community to the next level with patrons empowered to be informed consumers.

Presented by: Ken McDonnell, Meg Spencer, and Thea Hart

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date Summer 2011
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

In communities all around the country, people have felt the impact of a weak economy and they are still turning to libraries with a variety of needs. While libraries have vigorously responded to many immediate needs and the economy is starting to improve, the library has a continued and vital role to play to move their communities from recovery to growth, from surviving to thriving.

This webinar will build your knowledge and confidence to deliver programs and services that will keep the workforce in your community moving forward in the 21st century. It covers core responses to the basic needs of patrons impacted by the weak economy and specific responses to job seekers. The session also explores the variety of ways in which your library can support entrepreneurs and local small business in your community and how you can help your patrons strengthen their personal financial skills.

This webinar archive was created from sessions presented in 2011 as part of the IMLS-funded Project Compass, a national initiative to support public libraries' services to the struggling workforce.

Presented by: Betha Gutsche, Christine Hamilton-Pennell, and Holly Fulghum-Nutters Original

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date June 11, 2020
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

With the economy staggering, unemployment soaring to unprecedented heights, and families reeling from weeks of confinement and uncertainty, people are turning to their libraries for help. Many of the issues people are struggling with involve civil legal information; questions related to unemployment, debt/money issues, foreclosures and evictions, or family stressors are all on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this webinar, two law librarians highlight the most common civil legal issues they are seeing, provide guidance on key ways for public libraries to respond to civil legal needs, and discuss best practices for online reference services. Let’s work together to re-empower our struggling communities and demonstrate just how essential libraries are in times of crisis.

Presented by: Jenny Silbiger and Joseph Lawson

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date July 9, 2015
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Every day, libraries around the country are filled with people seeking help with jobs and careers. How do library staff find time and resources to assist them all? Learn a variety of practical ways to deliver career development services in your library from two certified ALA Career Development Facilitators. They have strategies and resources to help you cover the spectrum from a quick "on the fly" toolbox of forms and templates to ideas for one-time classes, workshop series, and even one-on-one personalized career sessions for patrons. You really can support those job-seekers!

Presented by: Aileen Luppert and Michelle Simon

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date May 27, 2020
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: Length: 1 hour

With a pandemic impacting community information needs in a multitude of ways, and with library services shifting increasingly to online formats, it's time to boost your online reference and curation skills with expert strategies and sources. In this webinar, infoDOCKET's Gary Price will highlight free, quality, open web sources to help you and your patrons answer important questions. Now, more than ever before, marketing your library's reference services can help demonstrate the value of reference skills to key community stakeholders, including the chamber of commerce, city council, local press, and other service providers. Using freely available web sources, including web archiving and productivity tools, boost your skills in open web collection development and curation, to meet your community's changing information needs.

Presented by: Gary Price

Self Paced CourseFormat: Self-paced Course
Developed by: LibraryU, a program of the Illinois State Library and the regional library systems
Length: 1 hour

Online, or virtual reference, has rapidly become a standard patron service offered by many public libraries. It uses the tools of the internet to extend traditional reference service to the point of need, bringing the service to patron rather than requiring the patron to come in to the library.

Online Reference Basics will help the learner to provide basic online reference service involving email and chat. The course addresses the advantages and disadvantages of online reference, gives step-by-step guidance, and provides tips and resources.

Course Design: updated by WebJunction

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date May 8, 2014
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: Length: 1 hour

Reference is still intrinsic to library services. It is evolving with changing patron needs, varied information resources and new delivery formats. Yet much of traditional practice remains important to providing quality information services to patrons. In this webinar, we will explore the balance between traditional and contemporary reference approaches, inviting you to join this open space conversation. What methods do you employ for reference today? What works? What doesn't? How does social media play a role? Lets learn from each other "how we do reference" so we can find the best fusion of traditional and modern reference service.

Presented by: Vanessa Irvin Morris

webinar iconFormat: Webinar, original date October 17, 2019
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: Length: 1 hour

Consumers are faced with increasingly complex scams and schemes used to defraud millions of people each year. As libraries strive to increase the digital and information literacy skills of their patrons, and provide timely and effective strategies for fraud protection, keeping up with options for consumer protection can be overwhelming. This webinar will explore the free resources available in multiple languages and formats provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that can be used by your patrons to protect their identity and to recognize and avoid scams. You’ll also hear how Johnson County Library is partnering with local agencies to provide programs and resources to empower consumers in their community.   

Presented by: Carol Kando-Pineda and Marty Johannes

webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date July 19, 2017
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

Wikipedia is more than its collection of user-contributed articles; it is a dynamic community with powerful tools that ensure reliability. For public libraries, Wikipedia can be a useful tool to connect patrons with quality information and help them build information literacy skills. In this webinar, learn how you can use Wikipedia to expand access to your collections and creatively engage your communities.

You'll leave with new insights about Wikipedia and practical tips on how to apply what you've learned. You’ll also hear more about the Wikipedia + Libraries online training program being held in the fall of 2017. This free ten-week course offers the opportunity to gain skills in Wikipedia editing and engagement in a collaborative learning environment with public library peers.

Presented by: Monika Sengul-Jones, Tiffany Bailey, and Betha Gutsche

Webinar recordingFormat: Webinar, original date May 6, 2015
Hosted by: WebJunction
Length: 1 hour

As job seekers of all kinds continue to come to the library for resources and support, libraries continue to find new ways to respond to this essential community need. Workforce literacy impacts a variety of patrons, including ex-offenders reentering the workforce, small businesses looking to grow, young first time job seekers, military personnel and veterans, and older adults seeking new skills to stay in the workforce. Work SC brings a comprehensive, yet accessible, set of tools to South Carolina residents through the State Library, and Jason played no small part in making it happen. Find out how your library, large or small, can adapt these service models and partnerships to provide the resources and support your local community needs to thrive in today’s workforce.

Presented by: Jason Broughton